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Solving the Double Monk Issue III

By Andrew Corpuz on September 24, 2009 | General Articles | Comments

Solving the Double Monk Issue III

Hello all! Today we shall continue discussing potential solutions (both good and bad) to diminish Double Monk Formation (DMF) prevalence. In parts one and two, we discussed the strength of Guard Dispel and Dispel Scrolls as well as modifications to Holy Guard, Awakening, and overall PvP balance. In part three, we will go a step further by bringing dramatic changes to battle mechanics, including several new ways to modify the behavior of Holy Guard.

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Category D: Re-creating Monk-Like Abilities in other Mercenaries

As this is already in development in Korea, I won't go into this in detail. New mercenaries such as Enchantress, aka Nina Paganini, and the Punisher will be receiving monk-like abilities. Based on semi-accurately translated information, it seems that the Enchantress will be receiving a column purification skill and the Punisher will be receiving a single-effect awakening skill.

While more mercenaries like this will definitely decrease the prevalence of double monk somewhat, they may not decrease the prevalence enough as none of the skills directly affect Holy Guard. Players could replace one (or both) monks with these new mercenaries; however, they could replace neither monk, simply adding them to the DMF. If, for example, both Nina and the Punisher (who, undoubtedly have more offensive power than a monk) are added to a DMF, essentially a triple-monk formation would be created, with each new mercenary taking half the typical role of a monk. At the least, the thought process is a step in the right direction.

Suggestion Rating: C, current mercenary suggestions (this rating is strictly regarding how the mercenaries will affect DMF, not the quality of the new mercenaries as a whole); A, potentially, with the right skills.

Category E: Re-creating Monk Abilities as Equipment or Basic Skills

This category is similar to both scrolls in Category A and new mercenaries in Category D. The developers have already implemented some of these ideas -- new guardian stones such as Awakening Stones, for example. Essentially, these suggestions give monk-like abilities to several (if not all) mercenaries.

 

1) Ally Team Proc Equipment & Other Equipment

Summary: Since there is equipment that procs on enemies such as Officer's Shotgun, there should also be equipment with procs that affect your own team. Much of the equipment would naturally come from shields and guardian stones, which are equipment of melee mercs. Melee mercs benefit greatly from Awakening procs because they typically have low dexterity. However, Awakening equipment wouldn't be as useful as Holy Guard equipment, though giving equipment with a Holy Guard proc is probably too extreme. Lastly, it's likely equipment with team procs can decrease monking; because there are more support effects that benefit the player's team, there would be less need for support mercenaries such as the monk.

Pros:

  • Adds more depth in formation planning
  • More variety in behavior and statistics of equipment is always fun!

Cons:

  • Too dependent on random proc
  • Only certain mercenaries can reap benefits

Suggestion Rating: C

2) Magic Defense Charms

Summary: Instead of randomly proccing HG, equipment could try to affect magic power. If a new type of charm was introduced that either a) increased MDef or b) decreased the level of incoming skills, there could be less need for HG, in two ways. Primarily, mercenaries would directly lower the damage from and/or lower the chance of getting hit by a magic skill. Secondarily, magic defense charms would take the place of the usual skill raise charms, indirectly lowering overall magical damage. Similar to suggestion 1) in this category, melee mercs would benefit the most due to their low mdef. Melee mercenaries are usually HG'ed most frequently in battle due to their low mdef.

Pros:

  • More fun and diverse way of lowering magic damage

Cons:

  • Would require extensive testing before its effects on HG can be assessed; effect may be minimal

Suggestion Rating: D

3) Give every mercenary the ability to Holy Guard him/herself

Summary: Since every mercenary can block to decrease physical damage, why not give every mercenary the ability to apply Holy Guard to him/herself, or at least a Magic Guard that decreases Magic damage. The AP Cost of a Magic Guard would be higher than that of a typical Guard.

Pros:

  • Adds another layer of complexity in battle mechanics

Cons:

  • Game may become less sensical
  • While decreasing monk prevalence, prevalence of Holy Guard may increase dramatically
  • May work best if done with other suggestions

Suggestion Rating: C

4) Stimulant Usable by All

Summary: Currently stimulant can only be used by the main character.

Pros:

  • Decreases need for awakening

Cons:

  • Not a bad idea, but may not change much with monk prevalence
  • Stun becomes more difficult to pull off

Suggestion Rating: D

Category F: Lower Priority HG

The developers already lowered the priority of Holy Guard by giving the ability of Dispel and Purification Scrolls to get rid of them. Perhaps the developers need to go a step further.

1) HG No Longer Erases or Blocks Magic; Instead Decreases Damage and Duration by ½

Summary: While in theory this is a great idea, this could potentially diminish the importance of a skill altogether too significantly. Additionally, certain skills or skill combinations would become too powerful. High debuff builds would become the new rulers, perhaps to an excessive degree. For example, a double Silence build could unravel a DMF build relatively early in battle. However, one activation of War Cry would destroy a ranged-heavy SMF build. Thus, this suggestion would require other PvP adjustments in order to be effective.

Pros:

  • Requires more careful use of HG

Cons:

  • Mechanics and display can become too confusing
  • Potentially encourages Triple Monk Formation and Zero Monk Formation, while greatly discouraging both DMF and SMF

Suggestion Rating: D

2) Skill That Enables Magic to Pierce through HG

Summary: A single target buff skill that enables a mercenary's skills to pierce through HG can be a way to discourage use of HG for 50% damage and a debuff duration of half, while not erasing HG. In my view, this is an improvement over Suggestion 1) in this category; players have to use AP to consciously engage their mercenaries in decreasing HG's power rather than HG possessing lower power innately.

Pros:

  • Players have another way to counter HG

Cons:

  • Mercenary with HG Piercing Skill becomes essential in many builds
  • While it affects DMF more than SMF, there's still enough reason to DMF
  • Mechanics can become too confusing

Suggestion Rating: C

3) Skill that Crystallizes Debuffs

Summary: A Crystallized Debuff is a debuff that has top priority; therefore, it cannot be washed away by HG, purification scrolls, dispel scrolls, etc. The only way it can be erased is by time (the skill's inherent duration). The crystallization is applied after the debuff is placed. There are too many debuffs right now that are never used in PvP. However, if a mercenary can harden a debuff on an opponent mercenary, the use of those debuffs would increase. To make sure the skill isn't too powerful, the skill should only affect one opponent mercenary.

Pros:

  • Strategic mechanics increase dramatically
  • Whether or not monk use decreases, the monk's power does

Cons:

  • Increases the amount of turtle builds
  • Certain debuffs (such as Vortex) would need to decrease their HP reduction

Suggestion Rating: B

What are your ratings for each suggestion? How can each of these suggestions be improved further? Discuss in the comment section below!

In the last part of the Fixing the Double-Monk series, Part 4, we finally discuss making monks C-Class while also discussing the effect of adding many more friendly skills. Be sure to check out Parts 1 and Parts 2 as well!

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